The multi-million-dollar Museum of Science and Technology (MST), which has been under construction for 40 years now, has been destroyed and degraded by squatters and hawkers.
The squatters and hawkers, some of whom are couples with children, have turned the museum into residential accommodation, with some living there for over 20 years.
The MST project, which is the only one of its kind south of the Sahara, with the exception of the MTN Science Museum in South Africa, was started in 1974 but has stalled due to several challenges, including funding.
The canker of successive governments failing to continue projects initiated by their predecessors has robbed Ghana of a worthwhile culture of adequately keeping track of the country’s exploits in various fields of development, including physical structures and projects.
This problem has also left in its trail a huge number of otherwise laudable projects now abandoned.
When The Finder toured the museum, it was observed that the interior has deteriorated so badly that government will spend huge sums of money on rehabilitation before the facility can be put to use.
In 2012, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), Fritz Baffour, said $1.5 million was needed to complete the project.
This year, Dr Zagba Narh Oyortey, Executive Director of GMMB, said about GH˘10 million was needed to complete the project.
However, considering the current level of deterioration, the country will need far more than that amount to rehabilitate and complete the facility.
Portions of the building have also been left to decay and floor tiles have been removed while window glasses have also broken.
Some of the squatters and hawkers have turned the space between the stairs and the wall into a bathroom.
Some of the squatters even prepare food on coal pots while hawkers have used some portions as storage places for their goods.
Treated mosquito nets were hanged all over the space, which serves as sleeping places, while portions of the first floor were covered by water.
The squatters and hawkers wash their cloths and hang them all over the place to dry while others have constructed temporary structures made of wood and cartons as sleeping places.
Sources at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Finder that the contractor, whose name they declined to mentioned, was allegedly responsible for the squatters and hawkers occupying the museum.
They alleged that the contractor said the squatters and hawkers serve as security at the place.
The sources said various governments only paid lip service to promises to develop science and technology to drive the nation’s development agenda.
The inability of past governments to invest in science and technology was because its dividend would take a longer time to yield, one source said.
Being the brainchild of Alan M. May and Wright, then lecturers at the University of Ghana, Legon, the MST was established in August 1965 to preserve the cultural heritage and the monumental achievements in science and technology of the country.
The purpose for the establishment of the MST was to supplement science education at the basic level, where children would have a hands-on experience of what they had been taught in their classrooms.
The museum was also to serve as a platform for stakeholders, researchers, industrialists and the public to share ideas on scientific and industrial applications.
Currently, because of the uncompleted state of the museum, the artefacts and monuments are being housed in the old building which was built in 1963.
The old building is relatively small in space and, therefore, a limited number of artefacts are being displayed to the public.
The MST endeavours to inspire those who visit, particularly its more youthful guests, with a desire to discover more about the sciences and technological development in the world around them.
Source: Weekend Finder
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